Cast: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Vélez
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Your friendly neighbourhood serial killer, Dexter Morgan, is back for more as Season 6 comes to DVD and Blu-ray. This season, as Dexter's sister Debra is finding that her promotion is only leading to politics, Dexter himself is busy. Another series of killings has come to Miami and this time is seems that the perpetrator is trying to bring about the end of the world with a set of murders inspired by Revelations.Dexter, a series noted for the exceptional performances by its guest stars, Jimmy Smits in season 3 and John Lithgow in season 4, Julia Styles in season 5, gets three more from this season's guest appearances: Edward J Olmos, Colin Hanks and Mos Def.
Dexter Season 6
Question: How did you prepare yourself to play Dexter? Did you take inspiration from any real psychopath? Did you study their behaviour?
Michael C. Hall: Yes, I read transcripts of interviews with serial killers, watched some documentaries that I came across, read some books by FBI Profilers who detailed in their mind what makes up a profile of a serial killer. I would imagine that Dexter himself would have familiarised himself with that in an attempt to avoid fitting any such profile. I did all of those things. Ultimately, I think the role requires an imaginative leap. He is singular in my experience, in terms of the kinds of people he targets and the way he operates.
Question: Do you have an idea on how can people love a guy like Dexter?
Michael C. Hall: I think we all have our shadow side. We all have secrets that we keep. Dexter, perhaps, has bigger, more formidable secrets and shadows than the average person, but I think that's a part of what makes him relatable.
Question: I was wondering, religion plays an important part in the sixth season, what did you find the most interesting religious dilemma Dexter was struggling with?
Michael C. Hall: Well, I don't think it's a question that had ever really been put to Dexter or occurred to Dexter, but in a lot of ways I think if there's a God in Dexter's world I supposed it's arguably Harry or the code or Dexter himself. You know, he is taking God's work into his own hands, in as much as he's ending people's lives. A broader sense of what God might be is nothing Dexter has faced until now. What I like about - or one of the things I like about the season is that it shows both a very negative manifestation of religious states with these killers who are basing their heinous acts on scripture. And then also, you know, we see Dexter enter into as authentic a friendship as he's ever entered with Brother Sam, someone who has been rehabilitated through the redemptive power of religious faith. So you see the shadow side and the light side, both are represented and Dexter is exposed to both.
I think when all is said and done at the end of the season, with all this concern about the nature of God or religious faith that Dexter does once again take things into his own hands, and at least in the final moment is executor of some kind of divine vengeance.
Question: When you compare Dexter in the sixth season with the Dexter in the first season, what to you is the most interesting difference?
Michael C. Hall: I think Dexter's been thrust into situations that have forced him to either experience himself or simulate an experience. You know, I think it's still arguable that it's undeniably more human. I think he has experienced a genuine sense of connection to his son, certainly someone who wasn't in the world at the beginning of the show. I think he maintains a sense of connection to, an allegiance to his sister, though I think that was something that was there from the beginning. I think the biggest change that's happened for Dexter has been that he's seen his behaviour affecting more than just him. It's resulted in the death of Rita. It's resulted in what his son has witnessed. It's resulted in a lot of confusion for his sister and it's - he is - he's certainly experienced himself in ways that are undeniably more typically human. I think his claim that he is without a capacity for humanity has been kind of blown out of the water, but I don't know that we were ever meant to totally believe that that was true.
Question: Now we've got season 7 and season 8 in the pipeline, have you got a thought on how you would like things to end for Dexter? Do you think there can be a happy ending for him?
Michael C. Hall: It's difficult, to be honest, for me to foresee an entirely happy ending for the character. I have - I do have my idea or ideas about how the story may well end, but you know those decisions have yet to be set in stone, certainly. It'll be sometime probably before that happens. But I don't want to give anything away, nor am I really in a position yet to know what I would be giving away, but I do struggle to imagine a purely happy ending for the show or the character.
Question: You get so many fabulous guest stars as your opposite member killers in the show, do you have actors sidle up to you and say, "I'd make a really great serial killer"?
Michael C. Hall: That has happened. I've been amazed by some of the people who have said it. You know, sometimes they have a - two or three drinks and I'm at a party and I wonder about the sincerity of their claim, but it is flattering. It's a real shot in the arm for us, the calibre of actors and the variety of actors that we're able to attract to take part in our crazy little world.
Question: You've already played this character for six years now, so you know it by heart. So what's the most difficult part in playing Dexter for you these days, and what's the most challenging part?
Michael C. Hall: I think the most challenging part is managing - is playing a character who is in a place that I had never imagined when I started. I mean, when we were shooting the first season I didn't foresee him having sex, let alone getting married or having a child or having a - some sort of relationship in which he invited other people into the kill room, or I didn't imagine Rita's death or those kinds of ramifications.
So I think negotiating the story-telling twists and turns and maintaining some sense of what I understand to be the character's truth is the challenge and is as challenging as it's ever been, given the twists and turns that the characters been through. And I'm thankful that the show remains challenging in that way and with the way the landscape has changed for Dexter going into the seventh and eighth seasons, I think I'll once again be challenged to incorporate some very, very new and powerful dynamics into his world.
Question: Do you yourself have any favourites that you'd like to see as a guest killer?
Michael C. Hall: You know I would hesitate to say because if I said it might make it less of a possibility, but - so I'm going to plead the fifth on that one.
Question: Why do you think Dexter has become such a successful, popular, and most importantly so long lasting show?
Michael C. Hall: I think it's a character who people have relished the opportunity to identify with. I think Dexter is obviously a killer, on paper, but he's always, as we're introduced to him, afflicted with a unique set of circumstances and challenges, and I think we're invited to actually admire the way he has managed his darker impulses.
And as far the show lasting as long as it has, I think that's part of the writing staff; the people who have done such a great job at imagining and reimagining the character's world and the challenges that they can put in front of him. And, you know, there have been some fundamental things that have really shaken up his world and changed the landscape, and I think that's always a good thing to be able to do if you're going to sustain the show as long as we have.
Question: Do you ever get tired of playing the same character, and have you thought about how long are you willing to play Dexter?
Michael C. Hall: As far as getting tired, I mean sometimes I get tired, sometimes I feel stuck or confused, or what have you. So I imagine, you know, that's something that's would characterise how Dexter actually feels himself at times, so I try to just roll with it.
Question: You played in Six Feet Under, and now Dexter, two wonderful TV shows. Do you have projects which would not include dead bodies all around?
Michael C. Hall: No, I actually - it's in my Mission Statement as an actor that I always be in one way or another surrounded by dead bodies. No, I think issues of life and death or Dex and death are fundamental. I'm thankful that I've been spending time with material that's in way or another close to, you know, one of those fundamental roots of what it is to be a person, so yes, I'd love to do a comedy where nobody died.
Question: I heard that you would probably be part of the adaptation of Big Fish on Broadway. Is that correct and can you tell me a little bit more?
Michael C. Hall: I spent some time with them,. I committed to do a reading of the musical in New York, which I did and was wonderful, but I think with the Dexter schedule and with the kind of commitment that they're looking for, I don't think it's actually going to be a possibility for me to, you know, give them the time that they deserve.
Question: In every season it seems it's always a woman who define what happens to Dexter, from Rita to Lumen, and of course Debra. What could we expect from the series regarding this?
Michael C. Hall: That's interesting. I think that trend will continue in new ways. I've never actually heard anyone make that observation, but I think that's very apt that women and their presence in Dexter's world does dictate a lot of what happens. I guess I can tell you that trend will continue in deeper and more complicated ways as we move forward.
Question: How has the concept evolved regarding remorse for you with the series?
Michael C. Hall: The first time we see Dexter deal with a sense of responsibility, a genuine responsibility, and therefore remorse is with Rita's murder. And in a way I think Dexter, since that, has still been in his very unorthodox and arguably unhealthy way is still dealing with the trauma of that.
He obviously has the initial trauma of it, he's revisited that trauma. I think his sense of responsibility or sense of awareness that he can't exist in a bubble is something he'd like to get back to. He'd like to feel like he's doing what he's doing and it's not affecting anyone in this world, but I think it's been proven to him that that's a difficult thing to maintain. And I think that is a big part of what gives us any sense of remorse that exists in him.
I don't think he has remorse for anyone he's killed who fit the code or anyone who he's killed because he had no choice in his mind. But I do think he has a genuine sense of connection to certain people in his world, and when they are affected. I mean, I think Season 5 in part was a big - him trying to exercise his sense of remorse by giving Lumen her life back. One woman's life was taken away and he felt he owed it to the Universe to give another woman her life back.
Question: The character Dexter must be such a difficult tightrope to walk everyday on set. The fear of just making one misstep or one overtly evil look and risk crossing that border between being relatable reprehensible forever is this daunting or is it getting easier?
Michael C. Hall: I think in some ways it gets easier, in as much as you're familiar with the sets and the characters and the other, but in a way it becomes more daunting.
Specifically in the case of Dexter, it becomes more daunting because he has evolved and yet he does maintain a compulsion to kill. So though we see him, I think, certainly in the Sixth Season he's completely derailed from that. He's firing on all on cylinders when we meet at the beginning of the Sixth Season. A year has passed since the fifth ended. But the realities of being a father and the realities of this preoccupation with these doomsday killers derails him from his, you know, more tidy world.
I don't know, I mean the tightrope remains. He's a crazy person to consider. I mean, I'm not even sure in reality if Dexter is a person who could ever be, but that's a part of what's, I guess, intriguing about the show.
Question: Now, obviously both Dexter and Six Feet Under have afforded you the opportunity to showcase your amazing acting skills; are you disappointed that Dexter hasn't afforded you the opportunity to showcase some of your amazing singing and dancing skills?
Michael C. Hall: I would love to find a chance to do that again, but I'm not sad that Dexter hasn't gotten the chance to showcase it. I don't think it's quite the proper venue. I don't think we're going to see a musical episode of the show, right?
Question: Do the writers tell you beforehand the direction they're going to take the characters to? Do you have any kind of feedback you can say to them?
Michael C. Hall: Yes, absolutely. I always have at least a broad stroke sense of where we're headed each season and, you know, I think I have a relationship with the writers where I certainly don't aspire to write the show. I don't want to get so involved that I lose my ability to do my primary job. But I think I'm welcomed and even encouraged, to be a part of the conversation, in terms of where we're going and perhaps more importantly, how we get there.
Sometimes my contributions seems to focus more on the writers maybe have a sense of what's going to happen, and obviously flush out how it unfolds. But sometimes there are issues and execution that I feel betray my sense of the character and I'll, you know, get very specific about the changes I want. But usually, you know, my conversations with them are more thematic and broad stroked about bigger picture.
Question: When the romance thing between Dexter and his sister Debra was taken, what was your reaction? Did you expect it? Did you talk about it? Was it really set up from the first seasons?
Michael C. Hall: I did expect it. I did have a sense that that's where things were headed. My reaction to it as an actor is that it sort of does something to her emotionally that takes further steps to prepare her emotionally to accept the inevitability of one day finding out who Dexter is. If Dexter doesn't know anything about that development, so as Dexter I don't really preoccupy myself with it.
But yes, I knew that that's where things were headed and I think Dexter himself says, "If I can have feelings for anyone, I'd have them for Deb." And you know, I mean it would be a conversation with Jennifer and her sense of Deb how much there's been some sort of underlie. But there's an undeniable connection between the two and I think, yes, it's always been there from the beginning. And I think they've - you know we've always been on a bit of a collision course, in terms of her finding out.
Question: Anders Behring Breivik, who was responsible for the massacre in Norway this summer, claims that Dexter was his favourite shows in his manifesto. I just was wondering, what do you think about that he and other - several other killers has pointed out Dexter Morgan as an inspiration for their actions?
Michael C. Hall: That's a very upsetting thing to hear. I feel like I can objectively appreciate a sense that I have that the show is in no way advocating serial murder, and that anyone who would use it as some sort of justification is using it as a further justification of an impulse that predates the shows existence in their world.
Question: Do you think it's going to be developed in the next season, in between the Dexter and Debra or the (detective) chasing a real story?
Michael C. Hall: I don't know. I think that's part of what's fun about the way things are left. I don't want to give any hints because it's part of the fun of returning to the show is seeing where that's going to go, it's not exactly wide open, but there are many possibilities.
Question: Do you believe Debra will be able to turn her brother in to the police?
Michael C. Hall: I don't know She could, she's a police officer. She's the head of the police department. She's also come to this sense of connection to him that maybe she's suppressed. It's a fundamental thing that they're both going to have negotiate. We'll see. I'm not going to tell you because I'm not even sure at this point what's going to happen.
Question: I was wondering, in the series we switch constantly from dark scenes with Dexter to the lighter ones in the police station, how does that work with the crew? How do you make up for all those dark slayings and killer scenes?
Michael C. Hall: The dark scenes are the most fun! That's when the crew's really invigorated. Everybody gets their job. It's a family at this point and we don't really talk about it. But I will say that I think I sense that there is a sort of hush, hush reverence and focus and excitement when we're doing the darker scenes, I think on set generally, and that certainly includes the crew.
Question: Many TV actors who play one role for a long time are afraid that they will be stuck with that role for the rest of their life. Are you afraid sometimes that you will be Dexter for the rest of your career?
Michael C. Hall: I wouldn't say afraid. I'm aware that there's an inevitable residue of Dexter that won't be on me. Six Feet Under entered and everybody thought I was a gay funeral director and then I guess he was Dexter's first victim, and now people associate me with Dexter. I understand that the show has a real presence, but I'm not really afraid, I'm just aware.
Question: Do you consider Dexter as a hero since he only kills horrible bad people?
Michael C. Hall: I think those kinds of labels are left for audience members to debate about. I consider Dexter to be a person with a certain set of circumstances that are certainly unique, but I don't put any kind of white or black hat on him. He's just a guy trying to deal with his gifts and limitations.
Question: You're well-known by Six Feet and Dexter, both series with dark humour, is it compelling to you?
Michael C. Hall: I think so. It's sort of revealed itself to me, given the kind of projects that I've gravitated to or that have gravitated to me. But yes, I think a sort of darker more, at times, subversive tone is something that's always appealed to me, and I think those kinds of things are only partible if they're accompanied by or infused with a sense of humour. If Dexter didn't give you the opportunity to laugh it wouldn't really be something you'd want to watch. But yes, I like to laugh and I like situational humour, as opposed to maybe more joking humour.
Question: What's next for you after Dexter? Are you already working on something?
Michael C. Hall: Yes, I'm in the midst of hiatus from Dexter, so right now, I'm going to do a few days on a Web series, the series that's going to appear on the Web called (Ruth and Erica). It's produced with Google and YouTube. It's some sort of new thing. I'm doing that.
I'm doing a film in New York which shoots in March for about five weeks, and then I'll come back to L.A. and shoot the seventh season of Dexter, and then we'll have another hiatus somewhere in there. But it's nice to find other things to sink my teeth into in the gaps between returning to Dexter.
Question: Do you and the team ever censor yourselves? Do you have certain scenes on tape, and then you decide to edit them out because they're like too nasty or the language is going too far or something like that, or violence?
Michael C. Hall: There's certainly, in terms of how much we see on the gore front, yes there are discussions about that and different sensibilities, and I think all the sensibilities come together to create what we see and those are conversations that we have. The most horrifying images in Dexter are the ones that you fill in the blanks with your imagination.
Question: Do you think that guys can easily relate to Dexter because he's such a compulsive liar, and he would lie about where he was tonight if he was supposed to be at home, but he's somewhere else, and therefore guys can relate to him?
Michael C. Hall: Yes. I think all men can relate to a sense of a struggle with a sense of shadow energy, a struggle with a sense of managing it, with a sense of keeping it secret, we all have secrets that we keep. And I think men have there ways in which they relate to Dexter that are fundamentally different than the ways that women relate to him, and there may be very different ways in which the character appeals to members of each sex.
Question: How difficult was it for you as an actor to make the transition from playing for five years gay David Fisher in Six Feet Under to serial killer Morgan Dexter?
Michael C. Hall: I think the big difference that I relish when I move from one to the other was that Dexter is such a man of action that he was not a doormat to anyone, there was a fundamental difference there. But I mean it was completely different set of circumstances. If there is any sort of parallels, it's probably preoccupied with a sense of internalised dead father energy. Aside from that they're pretty different and I was just really glad to play a part in creating a new world.
Question: What do you think will become of Harrison, Dexter's son, at the end of the show?
Michael C. Hall: That's a key question that the show (as it resolves) will answer. I don't know.
Question: How tough would be the challenge against the Doomsday Killer in the next season?
Michael C. Hall: I mean there are formidable opponents and I think again as with the Ice Truck Killer, these are people who are really displaying what they do in a way that's very public in a way that fascinates Dexter. I think it captivates his sense of play in a way and he indulges in it in a way that runs counter to what everybody at the police department's doing. But they're a uniquely formidable couple of guys in a way that we haven't seen before.
Question: Dexter falls with a lot enemies in the past show, which ones do you - did you prefer most, Trinity or the Ice Truck Killer or Miguel Prado? Which one do you prefer?
Michael C. Hall: It's truly hard to pick. There's no doubt that the cat and mouse sort of story line that existed with Trinity and Dexter was as captivating as anything. But John is an amazing actor; Jimmy Smits has an incredible talent and an incredible generosity. They're all his victims and he loves them equally like his children, you know?
Question: Before you got the role of Dexter, were you a big a fan of the Jeff Lindsay novels, and was there a deliberate decision for the story line to deviate from the story line in the novels?
Michael C. Hall: I wasn't familiar with the novels and read the book in preparation of the first season, because I knew the first season would be based on first book. I also knew that there were talks about the possibility of basing subsequent seasons on other books, but the decision was made to diverge from that, and that was a conscience decision as well.
It was a deliberate decision to not base subsequent seasons on subsequent books, so the stories of the books and the stories of the show are completely divergent because they're independent. So the characters are the same, but they're parallel universes, if you will.
Question: From the beginning of the show, everybody wonders what will happen if Debra discovers Dexter's secret, and finally it happens. So what do you think Dexter's approach will be?
Michael C. Hall: I don't know. I mean that's the fun of what comes next. I'm eager to learn what that will be just as much as everyone else is, but you know the fun of the show is speculating what will happen next. I'm certainly not going to give you any clues. Not that I have any at this point, to be honest.
Question: Besides Debra and the Dexter situation, there are many unanswered questions at the end of season six, like Ryan Chambers and Louis Green and his plans. Will we find answers for these questions in seventh season?
Michael C. Hall: Yes, everything will be addressed. I think part of the richness and the fun of the world that the writers have created in season 6 is that it's got so many loose ends and story arcs that need resolution. I would hope that anything you're preoccupied with, as an audience member, will be revisited and addressed in the seventh season.